In my exhaustive research into the world of at-home teeth straightening, my entire decision-making process has hinged upon one thing: do they have a nighttime option? If they don’t, they are out of the running for me. Period. End of discussion. Gone. Buh-bye. Cue me disappearing into a cartoon cloud of smoke. You get the idea…
For me, it doesn’t matter so much how good a company’s reviews are or how cheap they are or how stellar their customer service is. That’s all important, but I know myself and I know that I am a person who values my convenience and comfort above most things (probably to my detriment and the chagrin of everyone I know and love).
Wearing aligners for 22+ hours a day is simply not something I am willing to do, not when there are viable nighttime options out there. It also makes me question what kind of people would actually choose daytime aligners of their own free will when there is another, easier way–Are they masochists? Did they lose a bet? Maybe they just woke up from a decade-long coma and still think Invisalign is the only game in town? Alas, this is all a mystery for another day.
Lucky for me, the company I have been most consistently impressed with throughout my research is Byte, one of only three aligner companies offering a nighttime treatment plan. Founded in 2018, Byte is a relative newcomer to the industry but is already making a splash because of its rapid treatment timelines and technological innovations.
I will now outline the key differences between the Byte All-Day and Byte At-Night treatment plans and give my ultimate recommendation.
Whether you choose Byte All-Day or Byte At-Night, your entree into the Byte family begins the exact same way–with an at-home, DIY impression kit. So get ready to unleash your inner child to play with some putty for those mouth impressions. It’s an easy, fairly fool-proof process, but Byte can guide you through it if you need some help.
Once you ship back your impressions in the self-addressed envelope that’s included in your kit (Byte will even arrange USPS pick-up for you so you don’t have to make the trip to the post office), the orthodontics team at Byte will create a 3D rendering of your future smile and formulate a treatment plan individually tailored to you and designed by a board-certified, licensed orthodontist using their “Smile Science” (more on that in a minute).
Both All-Day and At-Night plans are equally safe and effective at treating mild to moderate cases of crowding and spacing. All aligners are made of 100% BPA-free, medical-grade polymers, though the nighttime aligners use a slightly thicker plastic that is specially designed to deliver maximum power and efficacy with less wear-time.
This is significant because Byte’s only other nighttime competitors–SmileDirectClub and AlignerCo–use the same grade of plastic for their day/night aligners, yet still prescribe only 10 hours per night of wear-time, making their night treatment timelines upwards of 9 months (!!!)
One of the things that sets Byte apart from its competition is their “Smile Science.” Developed by cosmetic dentist to the Hollywood stars, Dr. Jon Marashi, Smile Science guarantees you will be given a treatment profile that is all your own. Smile Science’s 5-point analysis of aesthetic precision takes into account the specific proportions of your face to create a smile that is uniquely yours. With access to your care team 7 days a week, monthly check-ins, and the ability to upload your progress through your Byte account, you can rest assured there is always an orthodontist or dentist monitoring your treatment.
Regardless what option you select, aftercare retainers are included in your treatment plan, since they are such a crucial part of smile maintenance. As someone who admittedly slacked on wearing my retainers post-braces over the last few years, I know this all too well. On top of that, Byte also has a Lifetime Guarantee automatically included in your purchase, so if your smile ever shifts, Byte will get it back in shape at no cost to you.
No matter if you decide to go the day or night route, Byte delivers the fastest treatment times of all its competitors (almost half the industry standard). And the reason Byte can confidently claim this is all thanks to HyperByte, the game-changing aligner seating technology exclusive to Byte.
This nifty device is worn in tandem with aligners for 5 minutes a day (for All-Day) or 10 minutes a day (for At-Night). HyperByte uses HFV (High Frequency Vibrations), a vibration-based therapy of soft micropulses that transmit through the roots of the teeth to the surrounding bone, resulting in better aligner traction, less discomfort, more accurate teeth movement, and, of course, faster treatment times.
On average, Byte All-Day’s timeline is a speedy 3-4 months, while Byte At-Night is not far behind at 4-6 months. To put it in perspective: Byte’s competitors average around 6 months (for daywear!) and clock in at a whopping 8-10 months for nightwear, at least. So even if you elect to go with Byte At-Night, your perfect smile is still being delivered in nearly half the time of competitors operating on the standard 22+ hours/day treatment plan. Clearly, all signs are pointing to Byte At-Night FTW.
And, while valued at $699+ retail, Hyperbyte is included for free in every treatment plan, so you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. Wins all around!
Alright, this is it, folks. THIS is what it all boils down to for me: the daily usage. Yes, the overall treatment timeline certainly is a factor, but that matters far less to me than the effect these aligners will have on my day-to-day life.
Byte All-Day: 22+ hours/day
Basically your whole life revolves around aligners if you go down this road. You’re popping them in and out all day long as you attempt to eat or drink anything that isn’t crystal clear water. Most human beings work/socialize/live during normal daylight hours, so these aligners are playing a starring role in everything from Zoom meetings to makeout sessions, and, I’m sorry, but I just can’t share the spotlight. Thank you, next, All-Day aligners.
Byte At-Night: 10 hours/day
Let’s be real: the only people who sleep 10 hours per night are infants, so there are no delusions here that you’ll be able to completely snooze through your treatment. BUT! Just think of how nice it will feel to finish up dinner (don’t forget dessert), brush your teeth, get all cozy in your pajamas, and then pop in your aligners to settle in for the night. Sure “Netflix and align” doesn’t have the same snappy ring to it, but you see where I’m going with this.
Here is where we see the other main difference between All-Day and At-Night. Again, this all comes down to your personal priorities and what you are willing to spend on them. Here is the basic pricing for both options:
- Byte All-Day: $1,895 ($83 for 29 months with $349 down payment – $2,763 total, 7.76% APR)
- Byte At-Night: $2,295 ($99 for 29 months with $449 down payment – $3,336 total, 7.76% APR)
Whatever option you choose, Byte guarantees 100% approval financing rate without a credit check or annoying paperwork. With financing, you are also enrolled in Byte’s Smile Protection Program, which automatically sends new retainers to your door every 6 months for 5 years, saving you money in the long-run on pricey replacements.
Some dental insurance companies will cover orthodontia, which is always helpful. Your pick of the All-Day or At-Night plan will have no bearing on your coverage. If you are unsure about your benefits, Byte will kindly do all the legwork for you to find out if you’re covered. While they don’t take payment directly from insurance companies, you can submit the necessary paperwork to get reimbursed, which they will also assist with. Customer reviews gush about Byte’s support on this often-tedious process.
To Sum it Up: Is Byte At-Night Really Worth the Extra Money?
For me, it is a resounding YES! The extra $400-ish (or $500-ish, depending on if you finance or not) is 1,000,000% worth it if it means my daily routine and lifestyle are not majorly disrupted.
If we were talking a few thousand more for nighttime aligners, I might think twice about my choice, but the price differentiation is nominal for what I will gain in comfort, flexibility, and quality of life. You are paying for premium plastic that is specially designed to work overtime with less wear and you’re not sacrificing efficacy. It’s a no-brainer.